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Der Magnetiseur

Michael MacGarry

1978 - Present

Der Magnetiseur

2018
HD video
60 minutes

On loan from the artist and Everard Read Gallery.

Michael McGarry presents a self-portrait in the form of a lived-film carnivalesque performance. Prosthetic arms extend from the artist to digital piano as he performs a composition while seated on a rotating platform in front of a ‘house of mirrors’ set. Theis rotating, endless loop creates a mesmerising, hypnotic space to contemplate the construction and control of the presentation of the ‘self’. Mirrors become liminal spaces of alternate reality and perception. Through this satirical work, we question our understanding of self and the perception that our presentation creates.

McGarry draws the titled from Der Magnetiseur (The magnetizer), a short-story by E.T.A Hoffman (a Prussian lawyer, Romantic writer and composer) written in 1814. It narrates the story of Alban, a doctor and hypnotist who tries to cure a sleepwalking woman through hypnosis.

The viewer joins McGarry, who performs as the magnetiser or hypnotist, in the disassembled vehicle frame, noting your own gaze and participation in his manipulation of self.

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